Reading have just come close to a third at Derby, but Joao’s volley hit the bar. Meanwhile, I’m not sure what happened here:
“Does anyone else think that yellow Harrogate Town kit looks like lederhosen?” wonders Matthew Richman. I can certainly see where you’re coming from here:
Bournemouth retake the lead at home to Blackburn, Jefferson Lerma sweeping in smartly from the edge of the area to make it 2-1.
Southampton come close to an equaliser again, but Che Adams gets plenty of power on his volley but not enough accuracy, and Guaita blocks it!
NO RED CARD! The referee, Jon Moss, goes to have a second look at the incident on the pitchside monitor, and swiftly decides to downgrade his punishment to a yellow card.
RED CARD! Kyle Walker-Peters has been sent off four minutes into the second half for a foul on Mitchell. Looks very harsh indeed to me.
A good chance for Southampton, probably their best of the game, less than a minute into the second half, but Redmond shoots straight at the keeper from 15 yards.
The players are back out at Selhurst Park, where Southampton are making a half-timely substitution, Vestergaard replacing Bednarek.
It’s mainly half-time. In the Premier League Crystal Palace lead Southampton by a goal to nil. Here are the latest scores in the Championship:
Barnsley 0-0 Luton
Bournemouth 1-1 Blackburn
Bristol City 1-1 Coventry
Cardiff 0-2 Sheff Wed
Derby 0-2 Reading
Huddersfield 0-0 Norwich
Millwall 0-0 Stoke
Preston North End 0-0 Swansea
QPR 0-0 Nottm Forest
Sheffield Wednesday and Reading both take two-goal away leads into the interval. Jordan Rhodes scored Wednesday’s second at Cardiff, a tap-in from four yards out, and Ovie Ejaria doubled Reading’s lead at Derby, set up by Leao’s lovely backheel.
Blackburn equalise at Bournemouth, Bradley Johnson’s 30-yarder somehow finding a way Mark Travers, the Cherries’ young goalkeeper, who seemed to flop over the ball and let it bounce off and then past him.
Reading have taken the lead at Derby, Lucas João sidefooting in from a corner amid some puzzlingly leaden defending.
Exeter City, having fallen behind in the second minute, have just taken the lead in the big League Two promotion decider (potentially) at Salford City, through Joel Randall’s close-range header. Exeter have had 63% of possession, 100% of the corners (three) and lead 8-3 on shots.
Northampton is the goaliest ground in the league today, with the Cobblers now drawing 2-2 with AFC Wimbledon in the relegation six-pointer. The away side have led twice, but Ricky Korboa has just scored Northampton’s second equaliser.
Norwich are still searching for a breakthrough at Huddersfield. Tim Sherwood is watching this one on Soccer Saturday, and says the Canaries should have had a penalty when a Huddersfield defender whose arm “was not attached to his body” hit the ball with it in the box. The mind boggles.
GOAL! Bournemouth are a goal up against Blackburn, Jack Stacey sending a 25-yarder arrowing into the bottom right corner.
There have been two goals in the nine Championship games so far, but in the Scottish Premier League there’s at least one goal in every single game, and Hibernian have scored two in three minutes at St Mirren.
Ryan Kent, the Scottish Premiership player of the month for August, is still going strong, and he’s put Rangers a goal up at home to Dundee United.
GOAL! Crystal Palace 1-0 Southampton (Zaha, 13 mins)
Townsend sprints down the right, looks up, spots Zaha unmarked at the back stick and picks him out with a fine cross, and the volleyed finish is easy and is taken with admirable calm.
Here’s a better picture of the suspiciously injured Fulham manager Scott Parker. It’s a bit early in the season for dressing-room fisticuffs, you’d have thought, but maybe someone just randomly kicked a boot and he got unlucky.
“Afternoon Simon,” writes our voluntary temporary Scotland correspondent Simon McMahon. “Full SPFL card this afternoon with all six matches kicking off at 3pm. Some fans being allowed into Pittodrie and the Global Energy Stadium, where Aberdeen host Kilmarnock and Ross County welcome Celtic. Table toppers Rangers will be looking to break a century-old record by recording a seventh consecutive clean sheet at the start of the season. Bad news is they face Micky Mellon’s Dundee United at Ibrox, and the Tangerines have last seasons top scorer Lawrence Shankland on the bench as he makes his return from injury.”
There have been three early goals there: Livingston scored against Hamilton Accies in the first minute, while Motherwell took the lead against St Johnstone and Celtic went ahead at Ross County in the fourth.
GOAL! Josh Windass signed for Sheffield Wednesday from Wigan earlier this month, and he’s just scored quite a smart goal to put his new side ahead at Cardiff. Every Championship game so far (well, all three of them) has finished 1-0 – who’s going to claim the top of the table today?
GOAL! Sunderland may be the favourites for the League One title, but it might not be entirely straightforward: they’re a goal down at home to Bristol Rovers.
Peeeeep! Kick-off! Action is under way, at Crystal Palace and indeed elsewhere.
“I half-watched the Fulham v Arsenal match just now,” writes Bruce Jackson. “We couldn’t help noticing that Little Scotty Parker appeared to have a nasty bruise/scuff on his right cheekbone in the second half that we hadn’t spotted in the first. Bit of a ‘lively’ half-time team talk in the Fulham dressing room?”
Now this is curious. Here’s a photograph of Scott Parker in the first half:
And here’s a photograph of Scott Parker in the second half. There us a clearer photo that I’m not allowed to use, but there’s definitely a cut or graze on his right cheek:
Birmingham also beat Brentford 1-0 on the first day of last season. Here’s a weird thing: Blues didn’t win any of their last 15 league matches last season, so they haven’t exactly been world-beaters in recent times, but in their last 10 games against teams whose names also start with the letter B they have won seven and not lost any at all. Big fans of alliteration, are Birmingham.
Final whistle! Birmingham City have beaten Brentford 1-0, their first competitive victory since February.
There has been a 92nd-minute goal at Wycombe, and it’s gone to Rotherham United, for whom Michael Ihiekwe has headed in a corner! The final whistle has swiftly followed, and it’s all over!
Bookmakers make Sunderland favourites for the League One title, followed by Peterborough, who of course have to cope without last year’s top scorer Ivan Toney, who has gone to Brentford. Rochdale are odds-on to be relegated, with Wimbledon and Northampton next in line, making the match between the latter pair the season’s first relegation six-pointer. These are all 3pm BST kick-offs:
Accrington Stanley v. Peterborough
Crewe v. Charlton
Doncaster v. Milton Keynes Dons
Fleetwood Town v. Burton Albion
Gillingham v. Hull
Lincoln City v. Oxford Utd
Northampton v. AFC Wimbledon
Plymouth v. Blackpool
Portsmouth v. Shrewsbury
Sunderland v. Bristol Rovers
Swindon v. Rochdale
Bolton are favourites to go up, followed closely by Salford City, with Exeter the best of the rest. And as it happens Exeter head to Salford this afternoon in one of the day’s key fixtures. Oldham and Morecambe are considered likely to be battling it out at the wrong end of the table come May, but there’s a lot of water to flow under a lot of bridges before that.
Barrow v. Stevenage
Bolton v. Forest Green
Bradford v. Colchester
Cambridge Utd v. Carlisle
Cheltenham v. Morecambe
Mansfield v. Tranmere
Oldham v. Leyton Orient
Port Vale v. Crawley Town
Salford City v. Exeter
Scunthorpe v. Newport County
Southend v. Harrogate Town
Walsall v. Grimsby
Today’s Championship fixtures look like this (all 3pm BST kick-offs unless stated). The early kick-offs have been goal-light so far, but Birmingham look like they might provide the season’s first upset, leading Brentford as they do by a goal to nil with 12 minutes remaining. At Wycombe it’s resolutely goalless:
Bournemouth v. Blackburn
Barnsley v. Luton
Birmingham v. Brentford (KO 12.30)
Bristol City v. Coventry
Cardiff v. Sheff Wed
Derby v. Reading
Huddersfield v. Norwich
Millwall v. Stoke
Preston North End v. Swansea
QPR v. Nottm Forest
Wycombe v. Rotherham (KO 12.30)
Starting lineups: Crystal Palace v Southampton
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Dunn, Kouyate, Mitchell, Townsend, McArthur, McCarthy, Schlupp, Ayew, Zaha
Subs: Hennessy, Kelly, Woods, Milivojevic, Meyer, Eze, Batshuayi
Southampton: McCarthy, Bertrand, Bednarek, Stephens, Walker-Peters, Smallbone, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond, Adams, Ings.
Subs: Forster, Vokins, Tella, Long, Vestergaard, Djenepo, Obafemi
It might seem like the Premier League has never been away and the truth is: it hasn’t. The opening day of the season is here and what better way to remind ourselves about the English top-flight than watching the teams which finished 14th and 11th respectively last season?
Palace only scored 31 goals last season, so will be desperate to improve on that. The arrivals of Batshuayi and Eze should help with that. Southampton, on the other hand, have bolstered their defence with the permanent arrival of Walker-Peters and Salisu coming in from Real Valladolid.
Further down the pyramid, it’s a big day for Barrow and Harrogate who get to call themselves Football League clubs, so there is plenty to keep an eye on.
Anyway, let’s all enjoy another year of top football action.